Usa Travel Guide

Congratulations! You’re soon about to embark on a wonderful journey to the beautiful country of USA, where incredible sights and experiences await. Travelling to the US is exciting but the planning and arrangements can sometimes be stressful. That’s why we’re happy to provide you with this comprehensive guide to clear your doubts and take you step by step towards making your journey as smooth as possible. 

Right from two weeks before your trip till the flight itself, ensure everything is in place by reading through these travel necessities as well as handy tips that we’ve specially curated for journeys to the USA.

 

Two Weeks Prior

Let us answer some of the questions you may have before you take off for the United States of America. 

 

What are the Important Documents required to Travel to USA?

 

1. VISA: Your visa is the most important travel document needed to make this journey, second only to your passport. Since USA is such a popular destination, we strongly advise you to apply for the visa at least 3 months before your intended date of travel. 

For the visa, you’ll need to: 

  • Complete and submit the application form online
  • Pay the visa fee
  • Schedule your interview 
  • Compile all your paperwork
  • Give the interview 

You can also apply for a visa online with SOTC, for a hassle-free experience. 

2. PASSPORT: You must ensure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond your period of stay in the US. 

 

What should you pack?

  • Reading material for the long-haul flight 
  • Sufficient pairs of clothes 
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sunglasses, belts, bathing suits & seasonal accessories 
  • Light snacks if you wish
  • US-compatible power adapter

 

What is the Maximum Luggage Allowed by Airlines?

Your luggage should not weigh more than:

  • 7 kgs for hand luggage 
  • 23 kgs for check-in bags 

However, each airline carrier has their own rules with regard to luggage limits and its best you check with them to be sure. For domestic flights, check-in baggage must be paid for as per weight.  

 

Two To Three Days Before The Trip

Foreign Currency 

The currency of USA is the Dollar, with 1 Dollar being approximately 72 Rupees. SOTC provides you with currency notes and Forex Cards that can be used at ATMs and merchant outlets, taking care of all your foreign exchange needs. 

Power Banks & Adapters

One of the most important things you’ll need to carry is the right power adapter for the USA. Being accessible while you travel is a fundamental need, so that you can stay connected to your loved ones as well as to any information you may need. Invest in a universal adapter that has type A and B sockets, which will help not just on this trip but any future holidays you take. 

Power banks are also really handy, just in case you run out of battery or don’t have access to a power outlet. Keep them charged before packing them. 

Toiletries

  • Toothbrush & toothpaste 
  • Sunscreen & moisturiser for skin protection 
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Your personal hair comb or brush 
  • Face and body wash 
  • Hand sanitiser 

While many of these items are provided by hotels, it’s always better to carry your own for hygiene purposes. 

Clothes

  • America is a vast and diverse country with all kinds of terrains, climates and seasons that each require specific clothing.
  • Carry enough pairs of whatever clothes you are most comfortable in but do remember to carry additional layers no matter what, as those from a tropical region could find it colder than usual. As there is entertainment galore, no matter where in the US you will be, do carry some formals as well. 
  • Lastly, take at least three pairs of shoes — one you can walk a lot in, one formal and the last any of your choice. 

Medicines

Carrying certain prescription medicines into America isn’t allowed. You can check the list online or ask SOTC to guide you. Otherwise, general medications are permitted and it’s wise to carry a small first-aid kit along. 

  • Pain killers
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Safety pins
  • Crepe bandage
  • Skin cream
  • Cough & cold medicines
  • Allergy medication 

 

The Day Of Travel

Food 

If you aren’t one for airport or airline food, you could pack some packaged foods of your own such as biscuits, sandwiches or nuts. The flight is a long one and you don’t want to get an upset stomach, so consider simple homemade food as an option. 

Important Documents

  • Valid photo ID proof such as your passport to enter the airport and even to access certain places in the USA
  • Visa
  • A printed copy of your ticket
  • Photocopies of important documents such as your tickets, passports, valid photo identification proof, credit / debit /forex cards, hotel and other sightseeing bookings
  • Scanned copies of the above, which must be emailed to yourself

Insurance 

It’s always better to get travel insurance for yourself and your travelling party to stay protected against any unprecedented circumstances. It allows you to get back some of your money and helps reimburse medical costs if any. You can choose from a host of international travel insurance companies to get these services.

Important Numbers

Keep all important numbers handy, including any travel consultants you have arrangements with and local emergency numbers of your destination. 

Hotel Bookings

Confirm your hotel booking before arrival and insist on a receipt. SOTC can help pre-arrange transfers from the airport as part of your package if needed, or you could take local transport once on ground. 

Cash / Card 

Most internationally activated credit and debit cards are accepted across ATMs, merchant outlets, restaurants and hotels across the USA, including American Express, Visa and MasterCard. However, please check with your bank if you will incur additional charges for international transactions. 

 

During The Trip

Since English is the primary language in America, communication or understanding directions and signages shouldn’t be a problem. 

 

Just remember to be polite to everyone you meet and always leave a tip! 

 

Tips For Travelling In The USA 

  • Getting Around: The US has a superior local transport system in almost every part of the country. You can avail of buses and trains across states. Car rentals are quite prominent and if you have a permit, road travel can be a joyful way to explore the country. Taxi services are also ever-present. Just remember to always follow traffic rules, including when to cross the road. 
  • Food Culture: America is a melting-pot of world cultures so you’ll find every cuisine and style of food, no matter your budget. Apart from the staples like burgers and pizzas, do experiment with unique flavours like Mexican, Thai, South American. One thing to remember is portions are always large so two people can easily share a dish. 
  • Lodging Options: Most hotels price per room but the good news is that double rooms are very common, making group travels affordable. Reservations can easily be made online and SOTC can help you source the best rates. A good option can be budget hotels or perhaps camping in the great outdoors. 

Social Etiquette:

America is a progressive and friendly country, yet it’s best to follow certain etiquette when travelling the country. Address everyone by their name and offer pleasantries and greetings. Avoid using slang or foul language, talking about politics or sensitive subjects. Always maintain and give personal space when interacting with locals, follow the area’s general laws and rules for road and transport safety. 

When to visit:

You could choose to make this trip during any season as the US is a year-round destination. But the ideal months in terms of weather, accessibility and activities are those of spring, summer and fall. The climate can be dramatically different across the country at the same time too. Generally speaking, these months offer warmer climes, opening up the outdoors, coastlines and city life. Winters can get extremely cold so it is not considered the best option. Do note that hotel and flight rates can increase during summer as it is peak tourist season. 

Unmissable experiences:

From national parks to bustling metropolitans, famed museums to lively theme parks, America is the land of it all. Whatever cities you intend on visiting, SOTCs packages will let you discover the best experiences at hand. Some of the most visited sites include Niagara Falls, Statue of Liberty, Las Vegas, Disney Land, Alaskan Cruise, Grand Canyon, Venice Beach — the list really is endless! 

You’ve seen America in movies, shows, music, entertainment and culture — from Hollywood blockbusters to the latest chartbusters. Now it’s time to experience it all firsthand, only with SOTC.  

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